The technology has reached its peak in the last decades and has entered our homes and work very quickly. Yes, it has made us progress in a way that was before unimaginable, but it has also affected the shape of the modern society.
Machines are slowly, but surely replacing people in their job posts and that could lead to the appearance of many social issues.
The retail automation has been a way for many companies to replace human factor in this business. Amazon is an online seller that has dominated the consumer commerce for decades, but now intends to open stores that will be based on sensors and artificial intelligence and the goal is to be without any cashiers at all.
However, people have started to object on the vast use of computers instead of people. Customers in Canada have started not to use self-checkout machines in malls and stores, as they are aware that this could lead to losing many jobs, and thus many people will be left without an income. They have pointed out that “Machines don’t pay taxes!”
The trend of self-checkout resistance is spreading, and social media is used where people release memes on Facebook, that are widely shared, telling shoppers to “never use a self-checkout” because “they kill jobs.”
In October 2018, the Dalhousie University conducted a grocery shopping study where it was revealed that out of 1,053 Canadians surveyed in the study over one-quarter stated that they never use self-checkout at the grocery store, not even for a small purchase.
According to a performed study of CBC – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, many Canadians object to the use of self-checkout registers. This study has also revealed the reason why Canadians are so much opposing this new system in the retail business believing that these machines will increase unemployment in their country by decreasing job posts that will make many families financially liable.
In addition to this, many customers state that the overall automation will cause an economic crisis and hurt the economy in the country leaving thousands of people jobless.
Contrary to these statements, others in the business world consider the rise of technology as a way of lowering labor costs.
It seems that in near future due to the great advancement of technology, the cashier line will be out of date.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018, future of cashier jobs, and jobs like bank teller and payroll clerk, are “expected to become increasingly redundant” in the next four years. The report of this forum stated that these “routine-based” jobs are most likely to be replaced by advancing technologies in near future.
The Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University in Toronto Sean Mullin, maintains, quote:
“To kind of cling to an old model just because it involves workers is not something that companies and others are set up to do.”
Nonetheless, people are trying to fight against the automation, and there are still people who have not yet used automated check-out machines. Peggy Eburne from Chilliwack, British Columbia, is one of them, stating that she has never used an automated check-out machine due to her belief that that will make another person to lose its job.
Even though, she is aware of the fact that maybe her objection at the end might be futile, she will continue her boycott and thus protect cashier jobs:
“Maybe the little we do makes no difference at all, but we like to stand by what we believe in.”